Environmentalists and the Wind Power Debate In Maine

For the first time since the oil shortages in the 1970s, efforts to convert to renewable energy have accelerated. In the case of wind power in Maine, this has caused an odd conflict.

Environmentalists and the Wind Power Debate In Maine

If you have filled up at the gas station recently, you know fuel prices are going through the roof. There is only so much fine crude in the world, and it is under pressure. Most people don’t understand that there are different types of oil. The type that is best for transportation and utility generation is very limited. Throw in the impact of pollution, issues of global warming, and you have a sudden motivation to seek alternatives.

Wind power is a tremendous renewable energy source. Every country has wind, so supply is not a problem. The conversion of wind energy to electricity produces no pollution, another positive in our environmentally stressed world. For environmentalist, however, there is a quandary.

The State of Maine was made for wind power. Whether on mountain tops, valleys or offshore bays and islands, excellent conditions exist for producing electricity through wind. The powers that be in Maine have recognized as much and begun the process of taking advantage of the situation. No less than five wind power farms are planned. When completed, they will produce over 40 percent of the electrical needs of the state. Put another way, we are talking about a major use of non-fossil fuel resources.

Alas, this unabated commitment to wind power is causing environmentalist a problem. Wind farms, by their nature, tend to take up significant space. Further, they need to be in open areas where the wind is not impeded by buildings and such. The available areas in Maine, of course, tend to be habitats for rare or threatened species.

Ah, now you see the quandary. Environmentalists are pro clean energy, but what about the species and habitats? If wind power farms are not allowed in Maine, the perfect place, how can anyone argue they are a viable energy platform? At this point, there is no definitive answer being given by environmental groups. The ultimate outcome will speak volumes about the future of wind power.

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